Even in an advanced age of four times twenty years, I’m grateful to have this great electronic tool, called a laptop. Emerging from the situation of an early childhood, where I had to write-up all my homework, exercises, essays, and reports with an ink pen. My handwriting had been shaped with an iron discipline to such an extent that writing with an ink pen became abhorrent for me. My ink pen, probably a cheap product just after WW II, was leaking and therefore I smudged my pages. Mom used to inspect the results of my writing and she tore the smudged pages from my exercise pad. Forced to write neatly and cleanly, I was seeking a way out of this excruciatingly difficult task, but had no other option than use lots of blotting paper and a cloth designated to clean my ink pen’s shaft at regular writing intervals. I think I never mastered the task completely, but I remember to throw my ink pen out of the window, once I had completed the first elementary school classes. The cruelty of punishing me with repetitive writing had stopped.
I had become conditioned to hating ink pen writing and as soon as I detected the slick looking ballpoint pens, I was excited. I began to like these writing tools to such an extent that I used them for drawing as well. I created my drawings with blue and black ballpoint pens. Besides, I wasn’t the only artist having discovered the quality of drawings one could achieve. Open for all new inventions for writing tools, I also began using their cousins, the liquid gel pens, a fusion of ink pen and ballpoint pen.
However, after a long period of absence from ink pens, I write at present all my poetry and prose-poetry with ink pens, at times even my novels. However, meeting a friend well-versed with a great knowledge of paper type and respective use of ink pens, I have mastered a technique that suits my style of manuscript writing. In the last seven years, since I have returned to Austria with spouse and ink pens, I have been inspired to writing in the peaceful surrounds of the Viennese Woods, using my various ink pens suited to different paper qualities. Drawing my heart out, compensating for the necessary change of domicile from Southern Africa to Austria, I have also described this event in a memoir. However, losing my life-time collectables, had to be compensated by creative work, while my spouse took up jogging at early morning hours. Besides having to leave a mild climate and an easy lifestyle, added to the shock of changing one’s life.
My publications in California on the Internet seemed to perform not well in the USA. Frustrated, I began to edit my work and republish at a self-publishing outlet in Northern Germany. As they took me in with publishing my work in English, it was much easier for me to edit my work in my second language, which had become my first one in the thirty years abroad. However, I pursued the idea to translate my work into German as well and published a poetic legend as my first translation, and I added illustrations. It seemed that in Europe, I could write for a readership that appreciated the artistic side of literary work. I was chuffed about this, well many young people have a good working knowledge of English nowadays and therefore I am looking forward of publishing my complete oeuvre with this company, Books-on-Demand.
As I had saved up for a reasonable adequate laptop, I had been going quite strongly with my publishing project, where I had a chance of inserting my artwork on the cover. A friend of mine encouraged me and soon I had a workable solution that was custom made for my needs as a creative artist and writer. As all the ten editions were successful by now, I was planning to finish editing a book every month. That way I would be completed in 3 years, then I could translate some of the favourite books into German. This was my program projection, as I liked the publishing house and the quality of their printing. However, as I had to work out the book-block for the printer myself, it saved me on costs, and at the same time all responsibility lied on me. The book block had to be converted from a word-file to a pdf-file. It meant that I needed a program that did this efficiently and without glitches. I found a user-friendly and worthwhile product on the Internet, I liked immediately, and having tested it, I downloaded the program.
However, out of the blue my laptop stopped working, as two keys from my keyboard came loose and couldn’t be repaired successfully to stick again to their sub frame. I had to look out for a new laptop that suited my specific needs, writing and collecting photographs of my artwork, editing them and using them in publications. I downloaded all my data from my broken laptop and saved all photographs on an external hard drive. Imagine, the bank would not allow the ageing poet to take out credit, as he was already at an age group that wasn’t accepted of being too risky. Damn them! A friend helped out and I could receive credit in spite of an age limit, besides I have a good record of paying off my debt. Besides, this one is with zero interest. Hah! I had no interest of having qualms with any banking institution and especially none with political intrigue.
As the pdf-converter had been working effortlessly for a number of years and I had still a contract with them, I assumed that I could transfer the program to my new laptop, as I had the license-key. Besides, having also purchased a primary support-guarantee on the Internet, I went to work quickly. But then as the pandemic Covid 19 had such a gravitating effect on people and infections spreading like wildfire, I had difficulties to contact the company in question. However finally I could find an Email and I sent a message. Help was promised in two days, but I heard nothing, saw no response on my mail. I called a service help number in Germany. The switchboard operating woman had difficulties with the language, even as I tried English as well. However, I understood that all I would need as a return customer, was a new license key. She would send one through her superior by Email to me, within a few hours. Of course I checked my mail, but found no mail from the noted company. As another day passed, I phoned Canada, given as headquarter of the software. The contacted person was polite and wished to help, but it had to be done by their protocol. Well, I told them that all I needed was a new license key in accordance with their German office, but I had not received one yet. I was referred to act with their protocol and let an engineer check my downloaded program with me allowing them to access my laptop remotely. I agreed.
However, as the technician checked my laptop, which I could follow on my monitor. Whenever he accessed my files, the monitor turned purple. He seemed to do all the motions I had done before and he couldn’t start the program. Finally I was told that I would need a new license key! Hah! ‘I told you so,” I said. “Yes, the polite Canadian, called Avi, replied, “but we had to follow protocol.” Now, I thought that’s exactly as I heard already before. I recalled the German office. Looking again at my Email, I saw nothing on the incoming page. I felt down and disappointed. Then I clicked on ‘Social’. Ahh! There was a fist name I did not recall being a friend, but indeed the message was friendly and awaited like water for a person dying of thirst. Immediately I activate my download with the new license key and flash, like magic, the pdf-converter opened, albeit with changed features, but one will get the hang of it in no time. I was absolutely relieved and a happy feeling flooded me. Of course I had wisely not fallen into the trap to purchase an addition for a discount, but my original purchase was still within the year offered at the start. Quickly I opened my manuscript and converted it into the pdf program. Fantastic, euphoric feelings surrounded me as I uploaded my manuscript online and immediately choosing a cover with my artwork incorporated. I sat in our kitchenette and had time to relax, as my first short-story book was published like a flash in Northern Germany.
Crash! Bang! Splintering of glass. “What the hell…” I rushed to the living room. My spouse had eyes opened wide in fright. The painting that had already an act of lost and found behind it, had loosened itself with its glued hanger and fell by gravity hard. I saw that it had hit the power plug and loosened it from its keep. Well, I pushed it back again and as we blamed the picture crashing due to the weight of the covering glass, I rehung it with its hardboard backing and the picture affixed with holding clips. Not long and a second, softer bang finished the power-plug, made in China, completely ripped free from its recess. I had lost power to my modem and the Internet connection ceased operating. Hanging a painting forever on this cold external wall, except with a heavy concrete nail, I mused.
“Hang it for now on the dividing wall to the kitchenette,” my spouse said. I did so, then went back to cool down a second time, but the modem needed to re-establish still its setting and power was off. “You should have recalled that we had here already a problem of fixing a hanger that is self-gluing,” my spouse scolded me. “Yeah, now I remember, you could have said so earlier.” I fumed. “Damned!” I had to choose another power plug to reconnect. I prepared some strong Moroccan tea and as I poured my first cup of green tea, I had again an Internet connection. If bad things happen in three’s, why do good things not come in three’s? Well, Pink Floyd was announced on YouTube to have a video of a great concert in Pompeii. Poetry is dead, long live poetry! I always believe it’ll never be in a situation to disappear, impossible!